Rapid Creek was lucky enough to conduct its first off-site dinner at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, last June.
We served 80 people a five-course meal. It wasn't without its stresses, but we couldn't have asked for a better group of people or cause to work with. And, we got to do it in a beautiful locale.
The unofficial theme for the dinner was 'Middle East Meets Middle West,' a fusion of the Middle Eastern flavors so often seen at RCC with Midwestern ingredients.
Matt served saffron-pickled eggs, a salad of local carrots, asparagus, turnips, and radishes with hazelnuts and a date vinaigrette, and a local,Turkish-spiced lamb loin with Israeli salad, pomegranate jus, and a labneh crostini of local sourdough.
At one point during service, all of management, both front and back of house, abandoned their respective posts to gaze in wonder at the Snow White-esque scene.
However, the photo doesn't do it justice: there were three whitetail deer all munching on greenery and seeds in the bird feeders. At least four ruby-throated hummingbirds were bickering over their perches. Two rabbits hopped through the grass, and nuthatches, orioles, and cardinals flitted about, while a red-headed woodpecker hammered away at a tree in the background.
It was pretty idyllic.